Being away on our annual family holiday had me thinking back to this time last year where I wrote a blog post about how to keep reading on the forefront during your time away. I thought I would share this post one more time to reiterate some of my tips! If you are new to heads Shoulders Knees, then, WELCOME! I hope you can use some of these tips on your next family holiday!
While we were away on our first family holiday (which still has me on cloud nine by the way) keeping up with L’s reading routine was so important to us. L has become accustomed to reading a couple of books before bedtime every night and there was no way we were messing with the process. We took a handful of his favourite stories and were on our way.
But it had me thinking. How can parents keep their child reading during family holidays? As a teacher, I have been asked on numerous occasions how to swing this so I thought I’d put together some of my top tips!
Before I start with some clever tips, I am a big advocate for taking a break. I mean, that’s what holidays are for after all. But if it’s important for your little guy or gal to keep reading throughout their vacay, then I’m here to help!
Think creatively. Sometimes you may only get a spare five minutes to read. Maybe you don’t read a whole book? Maybe they read a menu or play an alphabet game (YES! That actually counts as practise when you’re a little reader).
Pack your Faves
For the more independent readers it’s so important for them to choose 2 or 3 favourite stories to take with them. I would suggest chapter books so they can read small snibbits at a time. Think about series like The Adventures of Tashi, Captain Underpants, Fancy Nancy etc.
Magazine I Spy
Magazines are perfect for literacy games and reading. Grab a couple of kids magazines before you leave and pack some highlighters. Get your kids to search for and highlight the letters of their name, special words, rhyming words or even numbers.
Reading traffic signs counts. If you are a young reader, just learning about the world around you, traffic signs and info boards around town are great for reading. They are usually short and sharp and can be easy to read and interpret. They usually come with symbols that are universal so you can talk to your little reader about what these things mean.
Head to the local info centre and grab some brochures. Have a read about the amazing activities on offer and talk about which ones you might like to try. Get your little readers to look for important info like cost, time of the activity, what to bring etc. From year two onwards, finding relevant info in the text is a must have skill.
Yes, this counts too! Say you go out for one meal a day, probably more when you’re on holidays, that is at least once a day your little reader has a chance to practise reading. They may come across some tricky words but that’s OK. Just help them stretch it out- sound by sound. Except for quinoa…yeah, that one won’t work. Hmmmm?
Visit local bookshops
If your holiday destination has a local book shop, go for a visit. While we were away we found Whileaway Bookstore in Port Douglas and it was gorgeous. It was a bookstore/café so we could order a coffee and snack while perusing through the lovely collection. Coffee, food and books. Absolute perfection!
**Yes! That’s a coffee machine! And man it was good coffee!**
Make use of down time
Long plane rides, trains, busses, days by the pool or days on the beach all provide some down time to have a quick read. Take advantage of the quiet moments with your little readers and sneak in a chapter or two of their fave story. What’s better than snuggling with your beautiful children, under the sun, reading a story? Not much I’d say.
Keep the bedtime book routine
If you are a family of bedtime book lovers then I would keep this going throughout your holiday. Reading with L at bedtime is the most beautiful part of our day. We wouldn’t trade it for anything. So, reading to him at bedtime on our holiday was a no brainer. Some nights we took him outside and enjoyed our bedtime story under the stars. Be creative and take advantage of the pretty surrounds.
If you’re planning a holiday soon then keep these tips in mind. They will definitely help with maintaining a reading rhythm while you’re away.
If you have any questions about these tips, or need any advice on reading with your little ones, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Reading Readers,